Yes, my friends and I have a common malady, M. G. It is a quiet disease. Few have heard of it. Yet, many others may have it and not know it. Worse yet, many have M.G, know they have a problem, but their doctors do not know they have a problem.
You may be walking down the street one day when your legs get heavier and heavier till you can’t lift them. You seem off balance. Leaning on a building, resting a minute, your legs start cooperating again letting you walk a little further before they grow heavy and need rest again.
You may have been working out in your garden, come in, take a warm shower, and find yourself so weak you collapse in bed. After a few minutes of bed rest, you can resume your activities.
You may have completed your day’s work in a warm building then walk to your car in the cold crisp winter air to find that your eyes won’t focus properly for you to drive home. You may try to start your car only to find that you can’t grip the key to turn it to start.
You may be a teacher whose students have trouble hearing you even though you are talking as loudly as you can. You go home at the end of the day exhausted.
You may be a veterinarian who finds that the small dogs you treat suddenly weight so much you can’t lift them onto the examination table.
You may be an artist who has to hold her chin like “The Thinker” while drawing with her other hand.
You may be a young mother whose arms won’t hold your small baby for you to pace the floor with her, so you resort to rocking her in a chair instead.
You may find meats difficult to chew. Lettuce may be hard to swallow. Even some cereals may get caught in your throat and you can’t cough or gag or anything strong enough to dislodge the food.
You may try to speak only to find your mouth won’t form the sounds you want. The harder you try to enunciate properly the thicker your tongue becomes and the drier your mouth becomes and your lips can’t help either.
Yes, these are problems my friends and I have encountered many times in our daily lives. Somehow, we make adjustments. We do things the best way we can and try to go about living a “normal” life.
Myasthenics like my friends and me make adjustments daily to live with our disease. We prefer to live in one story homes or on the first floor of our buildings. One friend replaced all the doors in her home with sliding doors. Elevators simplify our lives, but escalators sometimes catch us off balance. Automatic transmissions in our vehicles are a must, and bucket seats help support our weak neck muscles. Air conditioning is a must in cars and homes. sometimes combing our hair and brushing our teeth are difficult because it is hard to lift our arms so we find ourselves satisfied with simpler hair styles and less than clean teeth. My female friends find walking in heels difficult so try to find fashionable flats. Knits and easy care are a blessing for us because the hot task of ironing can weaken us.
One of my friends played high school and college football so he misses his formerly active physical life. Most of us do as much as our bodies allow and find we enjoy writing, art, needlework, and pursuing a quieter lifestyle.
Our goal is to be regulated on medication so we can have nearly normal lives. Regular eating, sleeping, and living habits help us attain our goal. It helps to meet others with our problems and share symptoms, medication regimes, and methods of coping. From time to time, we have all been told our problems are in our heads so sharing helps us and others accept the mysterious physical nature of our ailment which can affect anyone at any time until a cure or prevention is found.
Donna L Whittaker is a veteran myasthenia gravis (MG) patient who shares life journeys and life tips to give newly diagnosed patients and their families hope.
Hope for Living a Long Full Life with Myasthenia Gravis
is the eBook she has compiled of real life stories of those diagnosed 25 years or more.
Email: Hope4MGLiving@gmail.com for a free digital copy.
Copyright 2017 Donna L. Whittaker